Published: 11:00 GMT Standard Time - Friday 25 February 2011
Afghan convert Said Musa is free!
Country/Region: Afghanistan, South and East Asia
Said Musa is now free
Afghan convert to Christianity Said Musa has been released from prison, where he was under threat of execution for apostasy, after months of vigorous campaigning.
Barnabas Aid has been engaged with others in high-level international diplomacy on Said's behalf, and earlier this month launched a public campaign to intensify pressure for his release. Over 8,000 people signed our online petition.
Yesterday, we received reports that Said was released from prison last week and is now safely out of Afghanistan. Before his freedom was finally secured Said had reportedly refused an offer of release if he would write a statement regretting his conversion to Christianity. He said:
I laughed and replied, "I can't deny my Saviour's name". Because my life is just service to Jesus Christ and my death is going to heaven [where] Jesus Christ is. I am a hundred percent ready to die. They pushed me much and much. I refused their demands.
Said was arrested last May as part of a crackdown on Afghan converts to Christianity. He was tortured and abused in prison but remained steadfast in his faith.
While rejoicing in Said's release, Barnabas Aid remains deeply concerned about another Afghan convert to Christianity, Shoaib Assadullah, who remains behind bars facing execution for apostasy and other converts in prison in Afghanistan who have not received international publicity.
In a letter dated 17 February, he expressed fears that he will "most definitely" be sentenced to death by the court. Shoaib has been incarcerated since his arrest last October for giving a New Testament in the national Dari language to another Afghan, who later reported him to the authorities.
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Aid, said:
I am overjoyed and greatly relieved that Said is no longer in danger, and would like to thank all those who have contributed to the campaign for his release. He is an inspiring example of what it means to remain faithful to Christ even under the most extreme pressure.
But this battle is far from over. We will now redouble our efforts for Shoaib as well as the wider cause of religious freedom in Afghanistan.
- Thank God for Said's release and pray that he will soon be reunited with his wife and six children in a safe place where they can start to rebuild their lives.
- Pray that Said's release will precipitate the same outcome for Shoaib and that the Lord will uphold him while he remains in prison.
- Pray that the international pressure on Afghanistan over Said and Shoaib will lead to full religious freedom in the country.
- 1Afghan Christian Faces Death Sentence If He Will Not Return To Islam - 8 years ago
- 2Encouraging Change from Within - 5 years ago
- 3The Islamic Law of Apostasy: join our campaign for its abolition - 4 years ago
- 4Recent Changes in Christian Approaches to Islam - 4 years ago
- 5Afghan Christians Plead for Help as they are Exposed and Threatened with Execution - 4 years ago